Of Churches and Parking Lots

Our church just opened a spectacular new building. There is more room in the sanctuary, classrooms, and children’s areas. There is more room everywhere but the parking lot.

I knew going into this church campus change that there were going to be less parking spots, but I didn’t realize how much that was going to affect me until the switch happened. In short: there are nowhere near enough parking spaces for the amount of people that come on Sunday. This changes me from the already stressed out mom that had to get 4 young children ready for church kind of woman into the crazy woman who has to drag children into a church building so you better not park in the close spots kind of woman.

One day (no joke) there were about 20 spots open when I dropped Mark off to help out in Sunday School (we’re always running late so he has to be dropped off and run like crazy). I missed the area that I wanted to park in, so I decided to drive once around the building and park in my favorite area. When I came around the back of the building I saw (and I am totally not kidding) about 6 cars race to get the last of the parking spots and a bunch of other cars go into stalk mode and start following people that might be attempting to leave. There is a street nearby and I saw about a dozen huge SUVS trying to parallel park on the street before any more people came. It was total mayhem!

Now, the church does provide a shuttle service from a parking lot that I’ve heard exists, but you cannot see from anywhere within the vicinity of the building. The last thing I want to do is park there for two reasons: I will have to drag my children onto a shuttle bus and we talk a lot after church so that shuttle might just not be there when we need it. Then I will have to drag my 4 kids down a sidewalk conveniently placed between a high voltage power plant and a curvy road. Nope, I’m fighting for my parking space.

This morning I dropped off Mark and 2 of my kids early and he got super HELPFUL, which takes a super lot of TIME. He started wiping off the baby’s face and fixing his collar. Within the first 30 seconds, I saw about 10 cars fly past us heading towards the last precious parking spaces. I finally told Mark, “I know you’re trying to help, but GO! Those cars are going to park in my SPACE!” I then jumped in the driver’s seat and took off, leaving a bewildered husband behind. I headed towards the area that was always open, noticing that the last of the close spots had just been filled. Luckily, I got one of the last spots around the corner. When I got of the car, the gentleman who got the last spot looked at me and breathed a sigh of relief. “We just made it!” he called to me over his car. There is a sense of camaraderie when you claim the last precious parking spots.

On a positive note, they are expanding the parking lot. The expansion is halfway done. But until it is completed, I will fight for my right to park within walking distance of the new building.

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